Our Lady of the Sign

(26 inches diameter)
This image with  upraised hands is the icon type of the Mother of God in prayer (Orans), but with Christ on Her breast. This prayer gesture of  upraised hands was known both in the Old Testament and in the Greco-Roman world.  The earlist known image of the Mother of God Orans is from the IVth century.

Here Christ is depicted in a mandorla which is a circular or oval iconographic symbol signifying heaven, Divine Glory, or Light.  The Old Testament prophecies end with  Isaiah: "Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive in the womb, and shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Emmanuel" (Isaiah vii:14).